IFA Flood Project Chairman Padraic Joyce has welcomed the commencement of maintenance work on the River Shannon, and called for a continuous programme that will help address the ongoing problems of summer flooding and mitigate flooding in winter.
At a meeting with OPW Minister, Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran yesterday, Padraic Joyce acknowledged that after many years of campaigning for such maintenance works this is the first time that significant work can be done. IFA received assurances from the Minister that the programme would be ongoing and backed by sufficient resources.
At the meeting, which was attended by representatives from the River Shannon area, Minister Moran said that Local Authorities have a role to play in developing projects under the Minor Works Scheme. Some councils are not applying for funds for necessary works and this must be addressed; the River Maintenance programme should apply to all rivers throughout the country, Padraic Joyce said.
In relation to turloughs, IFA impressed on the Minister on the need for urgent work to be completed. Some turloughs that were flooded in 2015 have not sufficiently reduced, which has impacted severely on farming.
IFA called for a reassessment of projects under the new Cost Benefit Analysis terms, introduced by previous OPW Minister Sean Canney.